Every week I keep tabs on what’s trending, new technology and consumer habits that impact the social web. These are summed up in a round-up called Social Pulse. Sign up to get this in your inbox every Friday here.
How the Pandemic (and Social Media) is Impacting Our Friendships: When asked to think about the effects of COVID-19 on their friendships, 67% of people surveyed said their friendships have not been impacted. A third (33%) of respondents said they feel that COVID-19 has changed their relationships— but 47% of them said they now feel closer to their friends than before.For Snapchatters, this closeness is even more pronounced. Over half (54%) say they are significantly more likely to feel closer to their friends now than before COVID-19, compared to those who don’t use Snapchat (39%). However, nearly half of those surveyed agreed that they feel more distant from friends because they couldn’t spend time in-person (45%). Read the global report here.
Facebook Launches Cloud Gaming: Facebook is entering the cloud gaming market with a suite of free games you can play on Facebook’s mobile app or website, with titles like Asphalt 9: Legends, PGA TOUR Golf Shootout, Solitaire: Arthur’s Tale, and Mobile Legends: Adventure. With this launch also comes “cloud playable ads” in the News Feed, which are “tiny demos will target people who rarely open the Gaming tab, or have forgotten that Facebook also offers playable games. Facebook says the ads will draw from a game’s native code and therefore be simple for developers to tweak.”
Stream of the Week: “Feels Good Man” is an amazing documentary about the creator of the Pepe the Frog meme and how it evolved from a benign image to a registered hate symbol. The film is “an exploration of the power of online imagery and the fascinating spin cycle of memes in a culture where ownership and meaning can be wrested away from creators.” Stream it free here. Highly recommended!
Satellite Wifi is Open for Beta: SpaceX’s Starlink satellite internet service satellites are angering astronomers for blocking their views, adding to the space junk circling our planet, and it turns out, they aren’t even that fast. Yet. But the promise of bringing high speed internet to rural and unreachable communities continues to prove a lucrative proposition for space industrialists. If you live in one of those hard to connect places, you can sign up for the beta today, starting at $99/month with a $500 setup fee.
Patents of the Week: Although patent filings aren’t a guarantee that new technology will come to fruition, they give us a hint of where we may be headed. Amazon has a patent where you can yell at your TV you want to buy whatever is on-screen. Google has one for typing in VR that resembles using drum sticks on a giant keyboard. Amazon invented delivery drones that transform shape while flying. Microsoft is looking for ways to make high-resolution GIFs that are still a small file size. Finally! Read more here.
- Coca-Cola plans to launch contactless technology at all 52,000 of its U.S.-based Freestyle machines by the end of 2020, followed by worldwide deployment
- Disney Plus is finally allowing users to share links to specific titles on social and messaging apps.
- TikTok added Shopify.
- Vimeo created a Google Chrome extension, Vimeo Record, that allows users to easily record their screen or their face, share and comment on those recordings, and more.
- This week Facebook, Twitter and Google all faced questions from US senators about moderation, community management, and Section 230.
- The Twitter retweet button changed, and confused the entire internet.
- Instagram Live broadcasts can now be 4 hours long.
- Snapchat launched a new set of 3D body scan Lenses for Halloween using its new body tracking technology, which moves and adjusts based on how you move on screen.
- Tweet of the Week: the guy that put cheese in a chocolate fountain